Judge Cites "Stand Your Ground" to Clear Greyston Garcia in Little Havana Stabbing

Categories: Crime
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Greyston Garcia
In the midst of the Trayvon Martin controversy, Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Beth Bloom has cited Florida's controversial Stand Your Ground law to drop charges against Greyston Garcia after he fatally stabbed a car radio thief in Little Havana on January 25th. Though, Garcia apparently initiated the violence, never called police, hid the knife, and then later sold two of the car radios the man had stolen.

In the early hours of January 25, Garcia spotted Pedro Roteta and another man rummaging through his truck and taking off with his car radio according to the Miami Herald. Roteta and his accomplice had apparently been on a radio stealing spree, and Roteta was carrying a bag filled with three car radios.

Garcia decided to chase after Roteta with a knife, and caught up to him. Roteta swung the bag of radios at Garcia's head. Garcia blocked the bag, and then countered by lunging a knife in Roteta's chest. The stabbing killed Roteta. Garcia then took off with the radio, even those not belonging to him, and never called police. Garcia hid the knife used and sold the two car radios that did not belong to him.

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Judge Bloom
When eventually contacted by police Garcia denied involvement, but eventually admitted that he was involved. He said he feared for his life because Roteta had a screwdriver in his hand, but eventually recanted that account and merely said he feared for his life because of the bag of radios.

Prosecutors charged Garcia with second-degree murder, but his defense was able to successfully argue for the charges to be dropped under the Stand Your Ground law.

Judge Bloom apparently agreed with a medical examiner who testified that a bag of radio swung at a head could cause serious harm or death, and that the defendant Garcia "was well within his rights to pursue the victim and demand the return of his property."

"The law does not allow for you to use deadly force to retrieve your property. She, in effect, is saying that it's appropriate to chase someone down with a knife to get property back," Miami-Dade Chief Assistant State Attorney Kathleen Hoague tells the Herald.

Prosecutors plan to appeal Bloom's ruling.

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21 comments
Payton_vege
Payton_vege

Amazing write-up! This could aid plenty of people find out more about this particular issue. Are you keen to integrate video clips coupled with these? It would absolutely help out. Your conclusion was spot on and thanks to you; I probably won’t have to describe everything to my pals. I can simply direct them here!

Guest
Guest

So is he going to be brought up on charges for receiving stolen property? How about selling stolen property?

Dumb Judge
Dumb Judge

Judge Beth Bloom is an idiot. She is the same Judge who made a ruling that allowed the corrupt Marlins deal. That deal is now under SEC investigation. Worse the taxpayers are stuck paying over $3 BILLION including interest.

lilloric
lilloric

i wonder why he wasn't charged for the 2 stolen radios he sold? if he really was swung at his aquittal was legit that's how the law works and yes any heavy item can kill you we see that  in the media all the time, usually not swung in a bag but same principal

Alex
Alex

I actually saw this case on the TV show "The First 48" about a month ago and I'm glad to see this guy cleared of the murder charge. If you saw the show you would know he had previously warned the thief's because they had done it before, there were two. This is how he knew to be on the lookout for their next radio theft attempt, I know I'd be extremely frustrated and pissed if it was me. I don't mean to sound insensitive and yes it's sad and unfortunate the other guy had to die because of stealing car radios and I feel bad for his loved ones but this guy that was cleared was not out on the streets looking to commit a crime or kill someone and when he confessed he was clearly very sorry and remorseful for it having ended up that way. I remember thinking to myself wow this husband and father of 2 little kids (according to him on the show) just might have ruined his whole life for the decision he made to chase after the thief with a knife. IF I had not seen the show I'd probably be wondering why he wasn't found guilty. I don't know, it's a tricky case but if you saw the other side of the story it makes more sense. I think even one of the cops on the show said something like it was a sad case for both sides at the end.

cal4gen
cal4gen

 That show didn't pursue the case any further than saying he was acquitted of murder. What keeps escaping everybody's attention is that he CHASED HIM. No self defense there in most civilized countries.

Guest
Guest

 He chased a man down in the street and murdered him, didn't call the police, tried to cover up the murder, and received and sold stolen property. Warning someone about your property doesn't give you the right to chase someone off your property and murder them, that is where the self defense claim ends, when he became the aggressor. If he had an issue with the thief he should have taken it to the police.

sunuva
sunuva

Whats wrong with the ruling? So are we just supposed to let the guy get away if he steals from you? Why is this case so difficult to figure out? If he chased the guy to get his property back, why is that a bad thing? He didnt stab him until after the guy took a swing at him with potentially deadly force. Why is THAT a bad thing? What alternatives do we have to dealing with the out of control crime sprees in our community?

Exador3
Exador3

 Sadly, in a lot of states, that's exactly what you are expected to do.  Understand that in states that don't have SYG laws, you could be woken up by a burglar. If the thug didn't threaten you, you'd be expected to just let them finish stealing your stuff until the cops arrive.  If you do otherwise, YOU go to jail. 

Liquidmark
Liquidmark

Not true. A lot of states have a castle doctrine that allows you to kill home invaders on sight.

ForlornW
ForlornW

 Baloney.  Thug wakes you up in your home, they're committing a felony on your property and you're entitled to use lethal force.  This is why there's no decent discussion, some people - on either side - just want to pontificate and will make up what they need to to "prove" a point.It's absurd to think someone should be allowed to chase other people through a neighborhood and kill them.  They're not defending their own life, they're chasing someone down.  There are very good reasons why we don't, as a culture, condone violent vigilantism, one of them being the serious danger this puts bystanders in.Another good reason is that the people doing these things are not trained in law enforcement, not tested for psychological disorders, and this case appear to be as much a violent thief as the person they chased.  That is NOT good for anyone.  Did he give people's property back?  No, he pawned it - he STOLE it. 

Good grief. 

Jaws329
Jaws329

Let me get this straight, I can kill someone breaking into my car,don't report it to the police,empty his pockets,take all his stuff and don't go to jail ?wow,I'm moving to Florida .

Jack Servedio
Jack Servedio

Anyone who breaks into a HOUSE to steal deserves to be shot and killed. However, what this man did was cold blooded murder. Sure, the guy stole a few hundred dollars - take it up with the police - NOT KILL HIM. The guy was literally FLEEING FOR HIS LIFE and this guy chased him down, knife in hand, and murdered him. Just because he is a robber does NOT mean he deserves to die. The fact that he didn't call the police and STOLE other people's radio's shows his intent wasn't to defend himself. There is a HUGE difference between SYG and Castle Doctrine. SYG removes ALL decent responsibility from TRYING to avoid a confrontation whereas castle doctrine gives you legal authority to defend your home. SYG is stupid and I can't think of a single case where a person who was truly defending themselves was brought up on charges... So what this guy was a father of two - maybe the thieves were fathers trying to put food on the table too? Yes, what they did was wrong, but they should NOT have been executed...

Harryh
Harryh

I don't have a problem for defending his property but it states here that this dude actually sold 2 radios that didn't belong to him.  So if he kills someone for stealing his property shouldn't someone be allowed to kill him since he basically committed the same crime as the guy he killed?  On another note fuuuuuuck Florida that place is letting it's citizens run wild.  I seen the video of the murder and you never actually see the guy swinging it at his head so now all you have to do in Florida is lie and you can get away with it.  Since this dude actually lied a couple of times during his interviews. 

Evan Courtney
Evan Courtney

It's bad enough policy that the cops can kill you for swinging a bag of radios at them.  It's outrageously bad policy that now anyone in FL can kill you for the same.  But, at least the law is consistent.

Sir Sausage
Sir Sausage

 Maybe people shouldn't be out swinging bags full of radios at others

Jack Servedio
Jack Servedio

The dude was CHASING HIM WITH A KNIFE. Even if he didn't swing the bag he would be dead right know. If the guy had an intent to NOT stab him, he wouldn't have had the KNIFE IN HAND WHILE RUNNING. If his intent was to ONLY retrieve his stolen property he wouldn't have pawned other peoples' stolen property. This is insane.

bx11
bx11

Perhaps the judge wnated to push the issue, and start a dilalogue about race and guns..oh never mind - it's just Florida. Nuff said.

Ted
Ted

Florida must be trying to leapfrog Arizona for the most embarrassing state prize. 

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